OU Planetary Robotics Student Team

A project by: Rob Adlard


WE RAISED £13,538

from 104 donors

This project received pledges on Sun 17 Mar 2019
2 years ago

Wow, we wanted to thank everyone who has supported us by donating to our campaign for our student space projects, we feel so humbled and excited by the support we’ve received. We don’t receive funding from any other source, and so your support through our Crowdfunding is providing a unique opportunity to OU students to gain this experience to supplement their studies, and promote the great brand of the OU and all the good work that is does.

The team heard from the URC competition in Utah, and although we got a good score (70.8%) we narrowly missed out on taking part in the finals of the competition in Utah. We wanted to thank everyone so much for their support, and the team for their hard work. We’re now working towards the European Rover Competition which takes place in Poland in September; same rover, same planet, slightly different challenge even though it’s the other major Mars Society rover competition. You can find out more about it here http://roverchallenge.eu/

Currently we’re full-speed ahead with our rocket project for the Spaceport America Cup, and hope to be doing a test launch at the start of April. We’ll be meeting people from RS-Components and Design Spark at the OU campus to look at and write about our projects, we’re grateful for their support for our projects, and it’s a great way to promote the OU and the things we’re doing. We'll let you know how things go, and will set about fulfilling rewards now. Thanks again, and wish us luck!

Below: Tom Buggey welcomes the arrival of the air-frame components for the rocket

2 years, 1 month ago

Wow, so we've reached the halfway mark, £3012 raised as of 22/02/19 - thank you so much to everyone who has supported us so far! Obviously, we still have some fundraising to do, so forgive us while we keep on sharing the campaign regularly, and ask for your help in sharing it as widely as possible too.

We also wanted to just add some updates about people involved in the project. Naturally you can read more about the projects at our website www.ou-planetaryrobotics.com, which outlines the basics about our two projects; the Mars rover and the rocket.

A couple of videos that may be of interest to you, or others who may be interested in supporting us are firstly from team member Olivia Freestone, primarily focusing on the rover: https://youtu.be/Fyu6GJuu6oA 

and a further video from Vincent Deguin, payload lead. We hope that flying his experiment as our payload for the rocket will give Vincent some real data for his PhD, and will help us score well in the payload competition at the Spaceport America Cup: https://youtu.be/571f0kPHwOA 

As we don't get a penny from the campaign until we hit our minimum target, please do share this with anyone else who you think may be interested. Thank you again for your support, we're so grateful for the chance to do these extraordinary projects.


2 years, 2 months ago

So here is the first of a few clips where PhD student Vincent Deguin will be introducing the purpose of the rocket payload for the Spaceport America Cup.

As well as a great learning experience for all the team, we hope our flight will produce some data to contribute to his work at the OU.

2 years, 2 months ago

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far, it's a good start, but if you can spread the word, share the link https://spsr.me/Qd8m then we'd be so grateful.

I wanted to give a little more information on the rocket payload, as that's something that people have been asking about.

We’ll write more comprehensive updates on this as time progress, but we just wanted to introduce to you Vincent Deguin. Vincent is an OU research student, and his PhD is investigating protoplanetary ice. To us mere mortals, this means looking at icy particles, how they would interact in space to form larger bodies, and then planets (hope I’m not explaining this really badly Vincent!)

Vincent showed me a little of his lab yesterday where he has created experiments to look at this, and a further step with his work is then to look at the interaction of the particles in zero gravity. There are various ways of doing this; obviously the best is to actually get something into space, but this is very expensive of course. To get a little bit of data, a parabolic flight will give brief moments of zero gravity, and this is what we will be contributing with our rocket flying in the Spaceport America Cup.

We also hope to be testing a new camera that is key to getting the data from the experiment. The ‘Payload Challenge’ is a competition within a competition at the Spaceport America Cup, and we hope that our entry will score well on scientific merit.

Vincent will do a proper update about this himself, but we just wanted to introduce him, and the experiment to say why it’s important that we can raise the funds to go and do this.

Thank you for your support!